Film about rescuing Hackney artist’s work premieres at East End Film Festival

The mammoth task of rescuing a prolific Hackney artist’s work is the subject of a film which will premiere at the East End Film Festival on July 8.

Dave Pearson: To Byzantium documents how friends of the Hackney-born artist strove to preserve his work after he died in 2008. The film also explores his achievements and obsessions.

Director Derek Smith, who lives on the Gascoyne Estate said: “It was very moving to make because there were so many people who knew him. It’s amazing how much support there was for his work and how popular he was. He was almost a mythical figure.

“He’s a person who stood out at college as he was so obsessive about his work. He did so much and didn’t really bother about attention.”

Whilst making the film, Derek stayed overnight in Dave’s studio and found a drawer full of pictures of Hackney.


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He took Dave’s school friend, John Waughman, to the Glyn Road house where Dave grew up amd also interviewed other colleagues and friends.

Dave’s student Bob Frith is a founding member of the Dave Pearson Trust, which commissioned the film, and was Dave’s student in the 1960s.

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Bob said: “After Dave died and we’d got his studio into shape, we thought about how to get the word out.

“I had the idea of making a film; to combine telling a little bit about Dave’s working life and the situation we found ourselves in trying to preserve his legacy.

“It’s not just a cold take on his work. It’s this big struggle to save everything.”

The 46-minute film has featured on BBC’s One Show and reached the final of the New York Film Festival.

Dave Pearson: To Byzantium will be shown at Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Whitechapel, E1 4UJ, on July 8 at 3.45pm.

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